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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 25, 2010 11:35pm-12:05am EST

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a multimillion lottery win, but now the money is nearly gone and so is he. we investigate the mysterious disappearance of abraham shakespeare. who wanted his jackpot? was he the victim of a most heinous crime? battle over the bible. his grand theory of evolution challenged the view that the world was created in six days. there's a controversy new film about charles darwin being released. plus, one term president. if that's what it takes to get the job done. diane sawyer goes one-on-one with president barack obama in an abc news exclusive. good evening. it may be said that the love of money is the root of all evil, but millions of americans play to luxury every day, each one with high hopes of winning the d? a multimillion lottery win, but now the money is nearly gone and so is he. we investigate the mysterious disappearance of abraham shakespeare. who wanted his jackpot? was he the victim of a most heinous crime? battle over the bible. his grand theory of evolution challenged the view that the world was created in six days. there's a controversy new film about charles darwin being released. plus, one term president. if that's what it takes to get the job done. diane sawyer goes one-on-one with president barack obama in an abc news exclusive. good evening. it may be said that the love of money is the root of all evil, but millions of americans play to luxury every day, each one with high hopes of winning the jackpot. that's precisely what happened for abraham shakespeare just over a year ago. in an instant, a man of meager sources was transformed into a millionaire. now, not only is his fortune gone, but so is he.
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and police believe that foul play may be to blame. tonight, the largest jackpot in power ball history could be yours. >> a couple doll rs gets you one little ticket. >> that's the winning ticket. >> i don't know. >> i'll be the winner. >> and one big dream. >> guaranteed to win something? >> i love my job, but i would quit in a heartbeat. >> congratulations to all our winners. >> here in central florida, a penniless day laborer names abraham shakespeare was seduced by a similar dream when in 2006, the delivery truck he was working on stopped at this mini mart in frostproof. after taxes, he was left with $11 million. not bad for the son of a citrus picker who made his living working garbage trucks and washing dishes, and had spent time in jail for a series of petty crimes. just three years later, the money is gone and so is abraham shakespeare. where is abraham shakespeare? >> we have no idea where he is.
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and we need to know that very badly. >> polk county sheriff says he's not been seen since last april. the department wasn't told that until november. >> in the beginning, we thought he was missing, he was hiding away. as the investigation continues, the evidence mounts that he could have died because of sinister means. >> murder, we're taking here. >> could be. >> somebody wanted that money. >> somebody wanted that money. >> in fact, a lot of people wanted shakespeare's money. a man who had spent 40 years living on the margins was suddenly besieged with requests. >> someone asked him to help, he was always trying to help them. >> his mother, elizabeth walker, remembers what it was like in the months after her son became a millionaire. >> he said he was getting phone calls one after the other, people asking him for munnee. >> he couldn't or wouldn't say no.
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he gave his father $1 million, he paid off a friend's mortgage for $185,000. he paid off mortgages for two men he didn't know. he gave his brother's son's best friend $40,000. >> i couldn't see anyone being a human being themselves that could take advantage of someone else the way i see somebody has taken advantage of my son, abraham. >> then there was the court case. the man driving the delivery truck stopped where shakespeare bought the ticket insisted it was really his ticket. after a drawn out trial, the jury sided with shakespeare, but he was beginning to realize that money wasn't a blessing. >> i really would like my old life back where i can walk the streets like a normal person without people coming up asking for money. >> that is an all too common story from lottery winners. just months after kenneth and
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connie parker won a jackpot, their marriage disintegrated. jeffrey dampier won the lotto and was kidnapped and murdered. and then there is jack whittaker from 2002. he won the largest individual payout in lotto history. whittaker started out with good intentions, building churches and helping people in need, but the demands for money never stopped. his marriage fell apart, his granddaughter died of a drug overdose. his daughter died of what was believed to be a drug overdose. in lakeland, they have been tracking shakespeare's millions. they believe he burned through nearly $10 million in three years. the judge said less than $2 million of his money remains. >> did he get the right help? >> the person he thought was ultimately going to help him,
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the person that convinced him that she was there for his best interests, is dee dee. >> dee dee is dee dee moore. she befriended abraham shakespeare a year ago when his money was dwindling. she haas not been charged, but the sheriff is not shy about saying she is a person of intense interest. >> she moved that money to her personal accounts. >> she took it? >> she took it. that's what our investigation shows us at this point. you know what she says? abraham gave it to me as a gift for all the help i gave him. almost $1 million. >> her credibility is not helped by a 2001 conviction for insurance fraud and falsely reporting a crime. is she someone you can trust? >> i wouldn't trust dee dee moore as far as i could throw her. >> dee dee moore now lives in and owns the million dollar house that shakespeare bought in this gated community in the outskirts of lakeland.
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we reached out to dee dee moore through her lawyer. our quest for an interview was declined, but you can hear dee dee moore coaxing answers from abraham shakespeare in this home video from last year posted on youtube. >> do you get tired of people asking for money all the time? >> you don't take no for an answer, no they're going to keep on asking. >> where do you want to go to? >> it don't matter to me. >> where do you want to go, she asks, and that is her story. she said shakespeare just wanted to disappear, and she helped him. dm now she said she, too, can't find him. the sheriff isn't buying it. >> she was texting from abraham's cell phone to her cell phone and to other people's cell phone giving the illusion that it was abraham. >> how do you know she has his cell phone?
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>> she told us. >> and she told you she did the techting? >> yes, because she was creating the illusion for him to be hidden. >> she said she believes abraham shakespeare is still alive. >> i think he'll pop up if he realizes how the extent of what this -- what level this investigation going to. >> then she began to cry as she complained about the police search of her home and car. >> i'm done. what else can they do to me? they turned my life inside out. >> we asked dee dee's lawyer if his client had anything to do with abraham's disappearance or murder. absolutely not true, he said,ee added it was inproert for the sheriff to be commenting publicly on an ongoing investigation. shakespeare's mother just wants to go what happened to her son. >> even if he was leaving town, i think he would have called or come over and let me know.
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>> if abraham is alive, just tell us where you are. we'll keep it a secret. you have a right to go where you want. and be where you want. that hasn't happened. >> the case of the missing millionaire. for "nightline," i'm jeffrey kofman in lakeland, florida. and today, a new twist in this case. the arrest of a local florida police officer, troy young, who according to the sheriff's office, provided dee dee moore with confidential law enforcement information in exchange for payment. our thanks to jeffrey kofman. when we come back, his theory of evolution challenged creationism and remains a controversy even today. but what role did god play in the life of charles darwin? at ken loans, we're making it easier for you to get a home loan.
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accord according to some interpretations of the book of genesis, god created the world in no more than six days. then, along came charles darwin and the dramatically different theory about the origins of mankind. today, theologians and scientists continue to argue about how the world was created, but what do we know about the scientist who started the controversy? here is nick watt. >> charles darwin has become one of the most divisive men in history. one reason perhaps that no one has ever tried to make his biopick until now.
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>> can't have claimed to orphan every species in under a week. >> evolutionists will tell you they can see millions and billions of years into the past, but they're making a ton of assumptions when they do that. >> this is what should happen to any belief you have in evolution. >> i'm offended by such a thought that my great, great, great grandfather was an orang tan. >>ci science embraces evolutions a theory, not a truth, but 40% of americans still don't believe it. the conservative christian webside call ed "creationism" a great movie, but what makes it so dangerous is it's so well done. >> gradually, we're going to
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have to accept darwin's ideas in the same way we have had to accept that the earth is not the center of the universe and the sun doesn't rotate around the earth. >> we can't get away from the fact that the ideas that he has popularized have affected people's thinking around this world and has an affect in many people's minds. >> creation the movie stars jennifer connelly and her husband, paul bettany. still, dwiistributors killed th movie dead. >> this is not a fashionable film. the fact it was also a hot potato in terms of its subject content, i think may have also made several studios squeamish about handling it. >> it focuses on darwin's struggle as his theory dawned on him.
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>> it's only a theory. >> it changes everything. the whole world stopped believing that god had a plan. >> the movie is set here in kent, not far from london, where the darwin family lived for many years. this was charles darwin's study at this very table, he wrote on the origin of species. while he was working, his kids would run in and out, steal his fo footstool, pester their father, begging them to come play with them in the garden. the movie creation focuses on his relationship with his kids and more crucially, with his wife. darwin's wife emma was deeply religious, a unitarian. she believed strongly in what we now call creationism. what was then just the accepted
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truth. >> we both know it's a battle we cannot win. >> the science, who won, i guess is an open question. >> it holds to one interpretation and one interpretation only. the bible is the starting point. >> thousands vist the creation museum in kentucky every year. many accuse darwin of not just denying god but of spoiling race hate. this movie humanizes darwin, something that might surprise his detractors. >> i think it is possible that some people who come through the creation museum, if they watch that movie, might be challenged concerning darwin as a family man, darwin as a father, as a husband. he wasn't in that sense, if you want to put in quotes, an evil man running around, trying to
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deliberately hurt people. i think he truly did struggle in regard to this whole issue of his ideas of evolution, killing god, if you like. >> darwin's own faith was eroded by his research, particularly his trip around south america. the death of his daughter snuffed if out. >> however, darwin continued to respect his wife's religion, her opposing view. >> you decide. >> about what? >> what should be done with it. someone needs to take god's side in all this. >> darwin published on the origin of species in 1859 because a colleague sent him an essay proposing the same theory that forced darwin's hand ended his vacillation. creation the movie is now showing in just six cities. in chicago and on the east and
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west coasts. will creationests watch it, will they object? >> i'm not so sure this will be seen as controversial as a movie that promotes evolution. we're used to that because it happens at school. that happens on the media anyway. >> the saddest fact about darwin is he's almost more controversial now than he was 150 years ago. darwin has become the sort of posterchild in a sense on both sides of the argument. which is becoming increasingly polarized. >> the debate goes on. science versus god. a century and a half later. >> and a controversy that is likely to continue. our thanks to nick watt for that report. when we come back, as the president prepares for a crucial state of the union address, my colleague diane sawyer has an
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presidency is not about him. >> when your poll numbers drop, you're an idiot, when they're high, you're a genius. if they're low, i'm cool and cerebral and cold and detached. if my poll numbers are high, well, he's calm and reasoned. so that's the filter through which a lot of this stuff is interpreted. >> there are some concessions and self-examination about whether in the past year he spoke up enough for the people angry at government and ready for change. >> i would say i probably make a mistake a day, maybe two. but i think in terms of over the course of the year, as i said before, we have been so focused on just getting things done that i think that we stopped giving voice to the frustrations that people have about the process
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here in washington. and that was -- that's something that i take responsibility for. >> and today, he says, whatever he's going through, how about some perspective? two pictures, inauguration, first congressional speech. what would you say to him? >> you're going to look older in a year. you've got more gray. >> as for health care, the president still vowed no small solutions to big problems. he said health care reform is still central to american life. >> every health economist out there who is serious about this stuff will tell you it's a vast improvement over the status quo. that doesn't excuse the stray cats and dogs that found their way into legislation. it is to point out that as we move forward, we have got to make sure we're focused on what is actually helping the american people deal with what is a very serious problem.
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>> and once again, we ask him about an old promise to all the people terrified about the deficits, $1.5 trillion more spent this year than taken in, expected next year. can you guarantee them still there will be no taxes on anybody who makes under $250,000 a year? still the absolute rule? >> i can guarantee the worst thing we could do is raise taxes when the economy is still this weak. i haven't raised taxes on anybody. i cut taxes. 95% of working americans have gotten a tax cut. partly because it's the right thing to do boss of the recession. partly because it's something i campaigned on. >> as he moves into the second year of his presidency, as he looks back, we ask him, what about looking ahead? ever in the middle of all this coming at you, you think maybe one term is enough? >> you know, i would say that
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the one thing i'm clear about is i would rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president. and i believe that. you know, there's a tendency in washington to think that our job description of elected officials is to get re-elected. that's not our job description. our job description is to solve problems and to help people. >> our thanks to diane sawyer. you can see the state of the union wednesday here on abc with extended coverage and analysis later that night right here on "nightline." we'll be right back with tonight's closing argument. >> first, here is jimmy kimmel with what is coming up next. on the show tonight, dax shepa shepard, joan rivers, and chef paul bart aloeta. stay up. boss: so word's gettin' out that geico customers could save even more on their car insurance
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